5 Types of people who move abroad

5 Types of people who move abroad

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of expats moving to South Korea and China, and by working with them, amongst others teachers, co-workers, acquaintances and friends, we’ve boiled it down to 5 types of people who generally move abroad.


The Wannabe

The Wannabe

1.The Culture Freak / The Wanna-bee

Kpop, hangul, Korean movies and slang… He’ll be able to tell you about it all. He’s the one who started studying Korean, before he even knew whether he would ever set foot on the Korea Peninsula , and he has seen every YouTube video about it.

Why teach abroad:

If you have a passion for the country, its cultures and traditions, why would you not go? You’ve seen it all already on the web, so you know all the reasons why you need to go. What are you waiting for?



The Traveler

2. The Traveler

The guy with the list – Not your average To-Do list: This list includes everything that haven’t been mentioned by Trip Advisor and more. This is the guy who would love to see the world and is able to live out of a suitcase. It’s the person who has friends all over the world and enjoy making new connections and trying new things. It is possible that he already knows people in Korea, or that he is interested in traveling to South East Asia.

Why teach abroad

With Japan, Thailand, and China so close, who wouldn’t want to go? This is the ultimate place to teach at, and still be able to visit South East Asia on a budget. You can live the adventure you’ve always dreamed about, you’ll see a different part of the world and you’ll be able to expand your horizons, and fill that passport of yours.



The University Student

The University Student

3. The University student

This is the person who just finished college. Excess money is a foreign concept, and the amount of debt is too much to even mention. He does not have  work experience in “The Real world”

Why teach abroad

Gaining international teaching experience will be an asset in your future career. This is a great way to set your foot in the door, and still get paid a pretty decent income. Korea is one of the higher paying Asian countries, and the cost of living is quite low. You’ll be able to save anything from $1 – $1000, depending on your spending habits. It is possible to save a lot, without living the lifestyle of a hermit.



The Opportunist

The Opportunist

4. The Opportunist

Gaining international experience – That’s the dream.  He is interested in building an international community of contacts and to enhance his resume with skills and abilities.

Why teach abroad

To work for multinational companies, will create a good career prospective. You’ll be able to expand your skill set and the ability to adapt to different workplaces. Korea will ensure that you are exposed to being flexible, developing communication skills on a different level and being adaptable to circumstances. The world will become your Teacher.




The Runaway

The Runaway

5. The Runaway

He is the one who is unhappy with his life at home. He feels stagnant and might be in a dead-end job. There’s a lack of opportunities at home; It’s a location burnout.

Why teach abroad

By teaching abroad, you’ll be able to create a life for yourself in another country. You don’t need to carry your past with you; you can recreate yourself. Be whoever you’ve always wanted to be… That doesn’t mean that you’re allowed to change your name on your passport though…

You might find better career opportunities, than back home, but  ultimately, going abroad makes you more open minded and this might change your perspective of home in a year of two.


Most Popular posts of 2014

The Most Popular posts of 2014: It’s always hard to predict what the reader wants to know. These posts hit a common nerve and you were interested in reading this. Here are the Top 10 most popular posts of 2014 (so far), and we don’t plan to stop posting more of these any time soon… Did you miss any of them? Which one was your favorite?

10. Arriving in Korea

You’ve waited weeks for this moment, perhaps even months. You have landed at Incheon Airport, and you’ve been told how to get out of the airport (take a bus into Seoul, look for someone holding your name when you come out of baggage claim, etc). But you probably have no idea what comes next, right?

Here’s how to make your first weeks after arriving in Korea a little less stressful.


9. The ultimate checklist

It’s crunch time, and you’re preparing to actually GO ABROAD! It probably feels like everything is happening way too fast… and truth be told, it probably is. With that in mind, here’s the ultimate checklist to help ensure that you have everything covered…


8. Weird facts about North Korea

According to Kim Jong-Il’s biography, he was born under a double rainbow as a new star appeared. He  started to walk at 3 weeks old, and claimed to be able to control the weather by his moods. What are some other weird facts you’ve heard about North Korea?


7. Weird places in Korea

Yes, we know about all the must-do’s in Korea.. But how about the weird, the different, the unusual places in Korea…?


6. Useful websites in Korea

Are you new to Korea? Have you been here for a few years? Either way, we’ve found these useful websites in Korea to be super helpful in planning nights out, weekends away, or exotic trips out of the country.  We hope this list will assist you as you create memories overseas!


5. What I wish I knew before coming to Korea

What I knew of the world changed during my first few days, weeks, and months in Korea. I did my research, but there were a few things that I missed. This is what I wish I knew before arriving in Korea.


4. Living cost in Korea

So you’re coming to Korea, and you’ll be earning around 2.0 – 2.1m KRW (average starting salary for a 1st year teacher). You’re probably wondering what your living costs in South Korea will look like, right? How much can you save? How much can you send home to pay off student loans? How much will you have in your pocket to spend on traveling?


3. Returning home after being abroad

Reverse culture shock, according to Investopia:

“The shock suffered by some people when they return home after a number of years overseas. This can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar.”

You just returned from a place that is very different. The language, the customs, the way of living… and now you’re “home.” But if it’s “home,” then how come I feel so… out of place?


2. Learn to read Korean

Did you know that you could Learn to read Korean in less than an hour?! This picture is famous for being a good way to learn to read Korean, in just 15 minutes… (Took some of us closer to an hour), but imagine spending 1 hour – and being able to save so much more time in the future, by being able to read!


And the most popular post of 2014:


1. What not to say to an expat

I’ve been gone for a while, and I know you don’t fully understand the ways that I’ve changed. So, to every expat-friend-and-family-member-ever. Here’s what NOT to say to an expat.


What topic will be more popular then this one? Let us know, and we might just write about that next!


Going Abroad? The Ultimate Checklist

It’s crunch time, and you’re preparing to actually GO ABROAD! It probably feels like everything is happening way too fast… and truth be told, it probably is. With that in mind, here’s the ultimate checklist to help ensure that you have everything covered.

Adventure Teaching Presents: The Ultimate Checklist

1. Documents

Some important items you don’t want to forget:

  • Passport (duh)
  • Copies of your passport – bring with you when you travel, too, in case you lose your actual passport
  • A photocopy of your immunization record –  if you travel to an area where certain immunizations are recommended/required, this is helpful to have on hand
  • Contact info for your friends/family – once you get a cell phone set up, you’ll want all of those phone numbers!

2. What to pack

How do you pack a year’s worth of stuff, when your airplane allowance is 23kg / 50lb?

  • A must: Photos and other small souvenirs from home, and a few of your favorite snacks. DVDs and TV Shows.
  • Items connected to your hobbies. Small instruments. Basketball shoes. Knitting needles. Your Xbox or other gaming console.
  • Extra passport photos – you’ll need 4-8 more after you arrive. They’re handy to have for traveling, too, as some countries will need photos for tourist visas.
  • Gifts for your co-workers – not mandatory or expected of you, but a nice gesture. A small trinket or souvenior from your home town/state/province/country.
  • For everything else: What to pack

3. What you don’t need to pack


  • Bedding: a comforter, a pillow, a sheet
  • A mattress pad
  • Full size bath towels
  • Water filter
  • A cleaning kit
  • A transformer:  are you from the States or Canada? Check the voltage of your electronics. Make sure that they will be able to handle 220V. Double check specific appliances, such as your hair straightener, blow dryer, electric toothbrush and gaming systems.  For these appliances, you will most likely need a transformer.

4. Money

  • Find out what you will need to be able to wire money back home. Bring proof of your bank account. You’ll be able to link your Korean account with your account at home.
  • Make someone at home your power of attorney, so they can have access to your accounts on your behalf.
  • Understand the currency conversion for USD / ZAR / GBP…. to Korean Won
  • Bring enough money to last you until your first paycheck (which you’ll receive about a month after you arrive)

5. Communication

  • Consider buying or renting a phone in Korea
  • Speak with your current carrier about getting your phone unlocked so that it works in Korea (and then set up a phone plan with a Korean carrier after you arrive)


Hopefully some of these tips are helpful. Don’t miss checking out what we wish we had realized before going to Korea.


Did we miss anything? Comment below!


What NOT to Say to an Expat

I’ve been gone for a while, and I know you don’t fully understand the ways that I’ve changed. So, to every expat-friend-and-family-member-ever:

Here’s what not to say to an expat.

Before moving abroad

Will-Work-For-Travel1. You’re going to Korea? No way! My cousin’s friend’s uncle’s niece is also teaching there. What a small world.

Yes, everyone knows someone who is in Korea, or who has been here,or who will move here. It’s just the way it is.

2. I’ll come visit you

Right. And unicorns exist. Say it when you mean it. We’ll be really disappointed if you don’t.

3. You’ll become so rich.

I’m flying to another country, and I’m working 5 days a week. Just as you are. I still have to eat and sleep and pay the bills.

 4. You’re so lucky!

What’s stopping you from joining me?!

During your stay

1. When are you coming home?

One day. Maybe. For now, I consider this home. When are you moving here?

2. When will you get a real job?

I go to work every morning, I work an 8-9 hour day, I leave when it’s done, and I get paid for it. What would you consider as a real job?


Mmmm… Comfort Foods.

3. You must really miss (insert food)?

And you just had to remind me.

4. Do you know (insert name) from (insert country) ? He is also there.

Yes, we are a group of 10 foreigners in the whole country, and there are big flashing arrows over our apartments so we can conveniently find each other.

5. Your life must be one big adventure.

I have a job. I have bills to pay. I miss out on Christmas at home. I would have liked proper Mexican food. Yes, I chose this, but it is what I make of it.

After moving back home


… silence….

1. You’ve changed… (awkward stare)

Is that a bad thing? It happened over time. My world got bigger, and I’ve been challenged in ways I never would have at home.

2. How was the trip?

Such a hard question. It wasn’t really a “trip”… you won’t really get it…

3. So, did you eat insects and stuff?

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Which explains my trimmed physique. Naturally.

4. How would you say (insert foreign word) in (insert language)

Yes. I’m fluent. So glad you brought that up.


So please, friends and family. Be patient with us. Support us. Give us time to rediscover how to do life in the West. And above all, remember to start preparing for when you return home from living abroad.

Any extras you can think of? Let us know below!

Returning home after being abroad

Reverse culture shock, according to Investopia:

“The shock suffered by some people when they return home after a number of years overseas. This can result in unexpected difficulty in readjusting to the culture and values of the home country, now that the previously familiar has become unfamiliar.”

What are you looking at…


You just returned from a place that is very different. The language, the customs, the way of living… and now you’re “home.” But if it’s “home,” then how come I feel so… out of place?

Reverse culture shock affects everyone differently, but there are different transition stages that might help shed some light on what you’re experiencing:




Phase 1

In the beginning, being back home is an adventure. You are finally able to eat all those foods you have been craving.  You can speak the same language as everyone, read signs, and best of all – you can catch up with all your friends.

Yum! Korean street food


Phase 2

Unfortunately, the “honeymoon” phase does not last forever. It’s great to be back, but you slowly realize that people’s lives went on without you. It seems like the world changed, but it’s actually you who changed through your experience. You start to see that people expect you to be the same person as you were before. After all, it’s only been a year (or two), right?

Not only do you have to juggle people’s expectations, but you find yourself becoming… bored. Remember how you used to walk outside, and there was always something new to look at? Bus rides and subway rides were exciting?Even grocery shopping was fun?  It starts to dawn on you that those simple adventures that are a part of everyday life overseas do not take place at home.

You share your experiences with people around you, yet they reply with snarky comments about how you’re bragging. Showing off. “It was just a year or two of your life,” and people don’t seem to be interested. All the while, you keep thinking – “Exactly! It was an ENTIRE YEAR! So much happened!” Ibn Battuta once said: “Traveling: it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” It doesn’t help if no one is there to listen. It helps to find others who’ve lived overseas. Joining Meetups in your area can be a great place to start.

Just as traveling became a part of your life, make sure you remember that having a family, for example, became part of your friends’ lives. You want them to listen to your stories, so return the favor and listen to their stories, too.

Returning home after being abroad

Phase 3

This is up to you. Returning home after being abroad won’t be the easiest thing to do, so find people with similar interests, go explore your hometown, and try out those traditional Korean restaurants in your area… they might just surprise you! And above all, find a jimjilbang. Trust us. A good jimjilbang is therapeutic on a bad day.

Korean Bank account

How to open a Korean Bank account

One of the first things to do in Korea, is opening a bank account. With so many banks to choose from, it can be quite a mission to decide which bank to go to. It is common for schools to provide assistance or recommendations to banks nearby the school or in the area. Here’s a little bit of information about how to open a bank account in Korea



If you are on a Student or Work visa, it’s pretty simple to open a bank account. You might be more restricted if you are on a Tourist Visa.

To be able to open a bank account, you will need the following:


ARC (Alien Registration Card): Even if you don’t have your ARC yet, you will still be able to open a bank account, but you’ll just be a bit more limited for the first month. You might be able to get a bankbook, and only receive the card once you show your ARC, but you’ll be able to get by without too much trouble

– They will provide you with a form to fill in (Make sure that you have your Korean address with you, and check that your name is written, as per your Passport)


You should be able to receive your Bank card and Pass Book (Bank book) within a few minutes.


Different Banks


KB (Kookmin)

This is the most popular bank, as you will find numerous branches all over Korea.




NH (Nonghyup)

The phone staff is knowledgeable and they provide good service, but doing online banking is a headache. NH is quite popular outside of Seoul.




They pride themselves as a Strong and Healthy Bank that could withstand any crisis. They have branches and ATM’s everywhere




They do not have the best service, as they use translators instead of people, qualified in the banking business, to answer questions. Their website is however compatible with all major browsers, unlike some of the other banks




It is one of the larger banks in Korea with branches in U.S.A.,  Japan and China.




KEB (Korea Exchange Bank)

They provide teachers great service in English and their site is very user-friendly. It’s is the only one that offers foreigners-only bank accounts that record all transactions in English.



Overseas card

Most international cards should work in Korea. It’s possible to withdraw money directly from most of the ATM’s. Make sure that you have one of the following cards though:

– Maestro

– MasterCard

– Cirrus


International transactions

Overseas Remittances

To send money overseas,  it is necessary to designate a specific bank as the one you will use for these transactions. It is advised to bring proof of your bank account bank home, to make transfers in between a lot easier.


Banking hours:

Generally between 9am- 4pm on weekdays, but might vary from one bank to another. Some are open over weekends.





Hagwon vs Public School

Hagwon vs Public School

So, you’ve decided that you want to teach English in Korea. Now you need to decide: hagwon vs public school?

We will try to help you by providing the details you need to make an informed decision.



  • Several foreigners will be working with you
  • Typical working hours are afternoons through the evening (1pm – 9pm, or something like that)
  • Ages: Elementary and Middle school
  • Curriculum: It depends on the school, but it is usually pretty structured
  • Training: You might receive short orientation when you first arrive
  • Size of classes: 10-15
  • Paid vacation: 10 days, and you might get some National Holidays
  • Salary is set according to the teacher’s experience and education
  • Round-trip Airfare
  • Health insurance will be split 50/50 with your employer
  • A studio style apartment that might be partially furnished – housing allowance provided if needed
  • Severance bonus upon completion of your contract
  • Hiring Season: throughout the year

Public Schools:

  • You will likely be the only foreigner in the whole school
  • Ages: Elementary, Middle, High school
  • Typical working hours: daytime (8:30am – 4:30pm)
  • Curriculum: Government provided. Youwill need to supplement the lessons with your own material though
  • Training: 3 day orientation provided
  • Size of classes: 30+
  • Paid vacation: 15 days, as well as National Holidays
  • Salary is entry-level (2.1 mil won/month) if you’re a 1st year teacher
  • Round-trip Airfare
  • Health insurance – split 50/50 with your employer
  • Studio style apartment, partially furnished – housing allowance provided if needed
  • Severance bonus with the completion of your contract
  • Hiring Season: February/March and August/September


For more information, find below two more in-depth articles:  

– Types of Teaching positions in South Korea

Hagwons vs Public Schools



Advantages and disadvantages of teaching abroad

Looking to move abroad soon? Living and working overseas as an English teacher will be challenging. One thing you can always count on: we will provide you with honest and upfront information so that you can make well-informed decisions.  Find below the advantages and disadvantages of teaching abroad (specifically in China and Korea):

Advantages (Pro’s):

  • East Asia is currently recognized as one of the best places to teach abroad internationally
  • Have a job set up before you leave home
  • Great Salary, Low Cost of Living… save a lot of money, pay off loans, etc!
  • Free (or discounted) housing provided with contract (utilities excluded)
  • Renewal bonus or severance pay upon completion of contract
  • Paid vacation days
  • Korea: 50% Medical insurance and Pension
  • An extensive public transportation system (Subway / Bus / Train / Flight)
  • Travel opportunities: It’s cheap and easy to visit other Asian countries!
  • An opportunity to absorb a new culture, meet new people, and continue writing a great story
  • Life is easy! A cliché, yet so true.

Additional Information: Why teach abroad


Disadvantages (Cons):

  • You may be the only foreigner at your school
  • You will experience culture shock for the first few months
  • You have to sign at least a one year contract
  • Students are cute, but they are just normal kids… you’ll want to pull out your hair at times…
  • East Asian philosophies of education are very different than they are in the Western world
  • You will get stared at. Relentlessly.
  • Pressure from parents – they want their kids to learn English!

Additional Information: Let’s be Frank



Feel free to send us an email for more detailed answers at [email protected]